Skip to content
Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

“The Good Ole Days?”

By Dr. Laundry December 18, 2006

I received the following from my boss (thanks, Adrianne) and it really made me stop and think how far we have come. I remember my grandmother detailing her washing process and parts of the following were included.

Maybe “the good ole days” were not really “the good ole days”.

Washing Clothes Recipe

(Given a Young Bride by her Grandmother)

‘Washing Clothes Recipe’ – imagine having a recipe for this!

Years ago, a Southern grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe: This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook – with spelling errors and all.

Washing Clothes

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one whole cake of lye soap in boilin water.

Sort things, make 3 piles

     1 pile white,
     1 pile colored,
     1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don’t boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

(For you non-Southerners… wrench means rinse.)

Paste this over your washer and dryer. Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washer and dryer, and give thanks. First thing each morning you should run and hug your washer and dryer.

And finally, a cute joke to finish off the post…

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”

“It depends,” I replied. What does it say on your shirt?”

He yelled back, “University of Oklahoma…”

And they say blondes are dumb!